How do you deal with the news that one of the most influential, exciting and uncompromising acts of the last 15 years is calling it a day? Last week The Knife announced their end was imminent and I slipped into denial.

First I assumed the media had taken quotes out of context, then I accused them of misinterpreting the words of the band, and finally I told myself that even the PR confirming the news must be unreliable. I wasn't willing to accept the truth - in many ways I've still not accepted the given version of events.

This has happened before.

Following the release (and subsequent tour) of Silent Shout in 2006 The Knife entered a lengthy hiatus during which siblings Karin and Olof embarked on their own projects. Karin released the critically acclaimed Fever Ray and Olof put out a slew of exciting techno and house EPs under the pseudonym Oni Ayhun. They teamed up once more (along with Planningtorock and Mt Sims) to create music for Tomorrow, In A Year, an opera based on the life of Charles Darwin. But it wasn't until 2013 (seven years after Silent Shout) that they would release a proper studio record.

The result was the abrasive, and divisive, Shaking The Habitual which re-established the duo as one of the most thrilling electronic acts of all time. Whilst everyone else was still copying the template laid down by their last record (pitch-shifted vocals and moody electronics) The Knife reintroduced noise, chaos and (with their live shows) fun. There were of course nay-sayers, with many complaining about what they saw as a record that was too political. This was nonsense. The Knife have always been political, it's just now they had dropped the pretence of subtlety along with the venetian masks.

Society is coming apart at the seams as our politicians try to make use more insular, capitalistic and continue to oppress those without power and looking for a change. The Knife recognised this and realised that now was a time when action was needed. They were no longer about quiet victories, but revolution. They spoke out against discrimination of Romani people, used their music to mock royalty, supported anti-nationalist campaigns, decried violence against women and encouraged promoters to embrace gender equality.

By the end The Knife ceased to be a duo and instead mutated into a whole troupe that involved the original siblings, collaborators, dancers and artists. Their demise is a great loss for music and for culture in general. Fortunately there are artists out there now who are sure to be stepping up to carry on the work started by the duo, and if The Knife choose to return one day with new music we will welcome them with open arms.

RIP The Knife: 1999 - 2014.

"Four hands and then away."